HilleVax Closes $135 Million Crossover Financing to Advance Clinical Stage Norovirus Vaccine Candidate
Financing led by Frazier Healthcare Partners with strong life science investor syndicate Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, Jeri Hilleman, Jaime Sepulveda, MD, DSc, MPH, Susan Silbermann, and Rajeev Venkayya, MD appointed to the board of directors
Boston, Mass., September 8, 2021 – HilleVax, Inc. (HilleVax), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel vaccine candidates, today announced the close of a $135 million crossover financing led by Frazier Healthcare Partners and joined by RA Capital Management, Deerfield Management Company, Abingworth, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Perceptive Advisors, Franklin Templeton, Catalys Pacific, Samsara BioCapital, BVF Partners LP, Qiming Venture Partners USA, Greenspring Associates, Richard King Mellon Foundation, and Sahsen Ventures. The proceeds of this financing support the further clinical development of HilleVax’s virus-like particle (VLP) based vaccine candidate, HIL-214, for the prevention of moderate-to-severe acute gastroenteritis caused by norovirus infection.
“We are delighted with the quality of the investor group participating in this oversubscribed crossover financing,” said Rob Hershberg, MD, PhD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HilleVax. “We welcome their support in our efforts to advance HIL-214, which we believe has the potential to be the first-ever vaccine approved for norovirus infections.”
In connection with the financing, Patrick Heron, Managing Partner at Frazier, Elise Wang, Partner at Deerfield, and Shelley Chu, MD, PhD, Partner at Lightspeed, have joined the company’s board of directors.
HilleVax has also appointed five additional members to the board of directors, including:
- Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH. Executive Vice President and Chief Patient Officer of Merck. Formerly, President of Merck Vaccines and Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Jeri Hilleman. Chair of the Board of Omada Health and director and audit chair of public and private life sciences companies. Formerly, Chief Financial Officer of several public life sciences companies.
- Jaime Sepulveda, MD, DSc, MPH. Executive Director of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Institute for Global Health Sciences. Formerly, Director of the National Institutes of Health of Mexico.
- Susan Silbermann. Formerly Global President of Emerging Markets at Pfizer and Global President of Pfizer Vaccines.
- Rajeev Venkayya, MD. President of the Global Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda. Formerly, Director of Vaccine Delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Special Assistant to the President for Biodefense at the White House.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome to the HilleVax board such a distinguished group of biopharmaceutical and global health executives with extensive experience in vaccines, clinical and commercial development, and capital formation,” further commented Dr. Hershberg. “We are deeply grateful to our late co-founder, Tachi Yamada, MD, who brought together this talented and passionate group to address a major unmet need in global health and to help grow HilleVax into a leading global vaccines company.”
Dr. Julie Gerberding is Chief Patient Officer and Executive Vice President, Population Health & Sustainability at Merck. Formerly, she was President of Vaccines at Merck and subsequently oversaw global public policy and strategic communications for the company. Prior to Merck, Dr. Gerberding was Director of the United States CDC, where she led the agency through SARS and over 40 emergency responses to public health crises. She serves on the Boards of Cerner Corporation and MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories and co-chairs the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security. She is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Gerberding received her undergraduate and MD degrees from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Clinical Pharmacology and Infectious Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco, where she is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine.
Jeri Hilleman is the former Chief Financial Officer of multiple public life sciences companies, including Intersect ENT, Amyris, and Symyx Technologies. Ms. Hilleman is currently Chair of the Board of Omada Health and director and audit chair of companies including Novocure, SI-Bone, and Talis Biomedical. She also previously served as a director and audit chair of Xenoport and Cardiva Medical through their respective acquisitions. Ms. Hilleman holds an AB from Brown University and an MBA from the Wharton Graduate School of Business. She is a Henry Crown Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
Dr. Jaime Sepulveda, the Haile T. Debas Distinguished Professor of Global Health, is the Executive Director of the UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences. Prior to UCSF, he was a member of the Foundation Leadership Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he served as Director of Integrated Health Solutions, Director of Special Initiatives, and Senior Fellow in the Global Health Program. During this time, Dr. Sepulveda also served as executive committee Chair and board Vice Chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Previously, he served in the government of Mexico as Director General of the National Institute of Public Health, Dean of the National School of Public Health, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Vice Minister of Health. Dr. Sepulveda obtained two masters and a doctoral degree from Harvard University. He received the Harvard Alumni Award of Merit and was elected to serve at the Harvard Board of Overseers. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Susan Silbermann is the former Global President for Emerging Markets at Pfizer and Global President of Pfizer Vaccines. Throughout her 30-year career at Pfizer, Ms. Silbermann held numerous senior leadership positions in marketing, commercial and business development, and general management in the United States and multiple international markets. She has also served as a member of the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Vice Chair of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, and an advisor to Catalyst Inc., a nonprofit organization that promotes inclusive workplaces for women around the world. She is currently an advisor to the Malaria project at the TS Chan School of Public Health at Harvard and a member of the board of Meet the Writers, a non-profit organization that brings inspiring and diverse authors and illustrators to New York City Public Schools. Ms. Silbermann has bachelor’s degrees in biology and French from Tufts University and a joint MBA/MA degree in international business and French studies from the Stern Graduate School of Business and the Institute of French Studies at New York University.
Dr. Rajeev Venkayya is President of the Global Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. He also serves as an independent member of the board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to joining Takeda, Dr. Venkayya served as Director of Vaccine Delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Health Program and served on the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Previously, he was the Special Assistant to the President for Biodefense at the White House. Dr. Venkayya trained in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also served on the faculty. He was Chief Medical Resident in internal medicine at the University of Michigan and received his BS and MD from the Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical society.
HilleVax is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel vaccine candidates. Its initial program, HIL-214, is a virus-like particle (VLP) based vaccine candidate in development for the prevention of moderate-to-severe acute gastroenteritis caused by norovirus infection. Norovirus is a common intestinal infection marked by diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea and sometimes fever that may lead to clinically significant dehydration.1 Norovirus is recognized as the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis across the age spectrum.2 It is estimated that norovirus causes nearly 700 million cases of illness and more than 200,000 deaths worldwide per year with significant additional economic and social burden.2 No vaccines are currently approved for norovirus infection, and HIL-214 is the most advanced norovirus vaccine candidate in human clinical trials. For more information about HilleVax, visit the company’s website at HilleVax.com.
1 https://ww.cdc.gov/norovirus/index.html [accessed 2021 April 27].
2 Hall AJ, et al. Expert Rev Vaccines 2016;15(8):949-951